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The New Arab

Middle East remembers celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain was loved across the Middle East [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 June, 2018

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People across the Middle East remembered the celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain this weekend, a man who traveled extensively across the region and showed the world everyday life in Arab cities.
Celebrity chef, food critic, travel writer and journalist Anthony Bourdain's death on Friday shocked the world, with fans and friends sharing thoughts and memories of his monumentous life.

Bourdain traveled extensively across the Middle East, showing the food, sites, and everyday life of Arab towns and cities.

For many in the region, Bourdain's depictions of Arab life were respectful and sympathetic to the many problems that have plagues the Middle East over the years.

His love for the region - and not least, its cuisine - is said to have began in 2006, when he made a trip to Beirut.

He has frequently named the Lebanese capital as one of his favourite cities in the world, and despite all its problems, found a humanity and resiliance between its sorrows.

The food's delicious, the people are awesome," Bourdain said about Beirut. 

"It's a party town. And everything wrong with the world is there. Hopefully, you will come back smarter about the world. You'll understand a little more about how uninformed people are when they talk about that part of the world. You'll come back as I did: changed and cautiously hopeful and confused in the best possible way." 

Lebanese took to Twitter to share their love for the chef.


He also visited other countries plagued by violence but have remained dignified in spite of hardships.

Among them was a visit to Libya, after the fall of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Libyans mentioned that Bourdain wore his heart on his sleeve and admired the struggle of the people who overthrow the long-time and brutal dictator Gaddafi in 2011.


Although he never visited Syria, he also sympathised with the struggles of the people there, too.



Probably best loved of all, was Bourdain's views on Palestine. He visited Gaza and the West Bank and spoke highly of the food, people and culture.

The American chef also admired the dignity of Palestinians in their struggle against occupation.





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